Wednesday, October 13, 2021

#2,636. Amulet (2020)


Writer / director Romola Garai’s Amulet is a slow-burn horror film that challenges our perceptions of good and evil, ultimately blurring the line between the two.

When we first meet former soldier Tomas (Alec Secareanu), he’s living on the streets of London. A kindly nun (Imelda Staunton) takes pity on him, and offers him a place to stay, the catch being that he will have to assist the house’s owner, Magda (Carla Juri), who spends her days in isolation caring for her dying mother (Anah Ruddin).

Occasionally, Magda’s mother, in a fit of rage, will beat her, and Tomas tells her Magda shouldn’t put up with such abuse. But over time, he realizes there’s more to this complex mother / daughter relationship than meets the eye.

Secareanu is quite good as the troubled Tomas, who seems like a decent man; there are flashbacks to his days in the military, when he helped a fleeing refugee (Angelika Papoulia) who was trying to reunite with her daughter.

But with its deliberate pacing, peppered with the odd disturbing sequence (there’s one involving a clogged toilet you won’t soon forget), Amulet reveals, ever so patiently, that it’s difficult to know what’s truly in a man’s heart, and it’s damn near impossible to outrun your past.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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